The natural right/left pattern created when by walking is an easy way to reinforce pattern recognition. Walking or running creates an easy to grasp ABAB pattern that children can feel, and the addition of paint creates a concrete product that the kids can look at and see the resulting pattern. Plus, the paint makes things messy, and my kids love everything just a little bit more when it creates a mess!
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- Tape down long strips of paper (We used an easel paper roll), next to each other for easy comparisons.
- Place two paper plates, each with a different color of paint in front of each strip of paper. (We used washable paint, and it did come out of our driveway and clothes, but you should test before using to make sure)
Making the Gross Motor Patterns
Use Your Feet:
The kids used their feet to create basic patterns. We explored the differences in the patterns created using 3 different types of movement – running, marching, and walking.
With my 5-year-old, we talked through the movement first: Would the patterns that result be the same? How would they be different? I also asked leading questions like “Will the space between the steps be the same or different?”
Then my kids put one foot in each paint color and tried running, walking, and marching down the paper strips. As they put each foot down, we called out the color that the painted foot was making.
Use Your Hands
We also did this activity while playing wheelbarrow – holding the kids either at their foot, knees, or waist (harder work for them when we held their feet, easiest when we held at their waist). For this we also called out the colors as they put each hand down, and then once they stood up, they had fun pointing and shouting out the pattern they had created.
This week’s Move and Learn ideas include options for reading, math, and learning textures:
- Toddler Approved is playing Name Broom Hockey!
- Hands On: As We Grow shares a scavenger hunt to explore outdoor textures
- Coffee Cups & Crayons has a number line run game to play